WELL, you can laugh at me, cover me in derision and show me up as whatever, but I can’t seem to pick the winner.
Of the highly important, world renowned, much feted title of Weekend Argus Car of the Year, that is.
I, the only capable and knowledgeable judge in the whole of this office, mainly because I am the only one able to do the driving impressions, have run into a condition known as judge’s block. It is similar to writer’s block in that you find yourself incapable of making a decision.
So my final decision will be suitably rife with indecision – I crown the new Mercedes Benz CLA as the Weekend Argus Car of the Year. And the Volvo V40 as the Weekend Argus Car of the Year.
And the decision is (not) made, based mainly on the most important aspect on which to judge a car – how much pleasure I’ve had driving it under various road conditions.
I must say I have had other very pleasant drives, so these two earn (share) the crown by a rather narrow margin. Chrysler’s Jeep Wrangler short wheelbase, for example, remains one of my favourites.
I know, it is a rather intangible, emotional and subjective aspect on which to base such an important decision and, eventually, award.
But, as I always say, if we could all afford it, we would all probably be driving around in the latest fashionable supercar, so what the heck. As far as I am concerned, price should never be a serious consideration in this “contest”. You may well then ask why a supercar would not win the crown every time. The answer is simple – they often do not give you the driving pleasure you need under everyday driving conditions. Even though the Ferrari 458 Italia is as sweet as they come, it still is a wide and low car with limited visibility in an urban environment compared to the cars I chose. And when its width, lack of ground clearance and lack of outward visibility comes to haunt you, the drive turns into a nightmare. No, I’d rather not drive it unless the drive is well planned.
But the two I chose would do well under most conditions.
Mercedes Benz claims the CLA has established a new segment as a new four-door coupé that follows the idea of the CLS – with frameless doors, the coupé adopts the design of the Concept Style Coupé into series production.
“The CLA is a car that has standard features usually found in the luxury premium segment and affirms that for Mercedes- Benz, safety is not a question of price,” said Florian Seidler, vice-president, sales and marketing for passenger cars, Mercedes-Benz South Africa.
“With world-leading aerodynamics (Cd = 0.22), avant-garde coupé design, its design underscores the sporty side of the Mercedes-Benz brand,” said Seidler.
And that was what first caught my eye. Here we had a sporty Mer-
MIGHTY: The Mercedes Benz CLA is a new category of car, the Germans tell us. I don’t know so much about that, but what I do know is it is a mighty fine car.